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Yankees sweep Red Sox, take AL wildcard lead

Boston Red Sox’s Jose Iglesias, right, scores ahead of
the throw to New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez on a sacrifice
fly by Christian Vazquez during the seventh inning of a
baseball game on Sept. 26, 2021 (September 27 in Manila)
in Boston. AP PHOTO

BOSTON: Yankees manager Aaron Boone watched two of his Gold Glove fielders drop easy popups to hand the Red Sox the lead.

Then Boston fumbled a pair of foul balls with Aaron Judge at the plate, twice giving the slugger new life before his two-run double propelled New York to a 6-3 victory on Sunday (Monday in Manila) and a series sweep that flipped the lead in the AL wildcard race.

“It’s a little bit stunning, right? You can’t make that stuff up,” Boone said. “It’s not something you’re going to see very often; two popups get dropped by really good defenders. It’s part of the ride right now.”

After Judge turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster and out of the ballpark to seal the Yankees’ sixth straight win. Stanton, who won Saturday’s game with an eighth-inning grand slam, homered in all three games and drove in 10 runs during the series.

Mickey Mantle is the only other Yankee with 10 RBIs in a three-game series versus the Red Sox; Joe DiMaggio is the only other one to homer in each game of a three-game series against them.

“It’s a big time right now, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m the most prepared,” Stanton said. “You can’t be scared of those moments, or they’ll sneak up on you real quick.”

The Yankees, who arrived in Boston trailing the Red Sox by two games, left with a one-game lead in the race to host the October 5 AL wildcard game. Boston remains in playoff position, one game ahead of Toronto for the second wildcard spot.

“It’s not what we wanted coming into the series,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We didn’t get the job done. It’s that simple.”

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